Adan Canto Dies: ‘The Cleaning Lady’ & ‘Designated Survivor’ Star Was 42



Adan Canto, the Mexican-American actor who parlayed his music career in Mexico into becoming a Hollywood leading man, died Jan. 8 after a private battle with appendiceal cancer. He was 42.

Canto most recently starred in Fox’s drama series The Cleaning Lady, playing the male lead for the first two seasons. While his health did not allow him to film when production on the upcoming Season 3 started in December, following the end of the strikes, Canto was planning to rejoin the cast later in the season. The series will pay tribute to its star with a card in the Season 3 premiere.

Born in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico in 1981 and raised in Texas, Canto left home at age 16 to pursue a career as a singer and guitarist in Mexico City. He started acting in local commercials and TV shows before being scouted for a major role in Kevin Williamson’s 2013 Fox drama series The Following.

Showcasing his versatility as an actor, he went on to star in such series as Designated Survivor, where he portrayed Vice President-elect Aaron Shore opposite Kiefer Sutherland for three seasons, Mixology and Blood & Oil. He also had a memorable turn on Narcos as real-life politician Rodrigo Lara Bonilla and did an arc on Second Chance.

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For the past two years, Canto starred opposite Élodie Yung on The Cleaning Lady, playing gangster Arman Morales. Both Fox’s The Following, which marked Canto’s first U.S. acting role, and The Cleaning Lady, which was his last, were produced by Warner Bros. TV

“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Adan Canto. A wonderful actor and dear friend, we were honored to have him as part of the Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment families since his U.S. debut in The Following more than a decade ago,” Fox and WBTV said in a statement. “Most recently, he lit up the screen in The Cleaning Lady with a powerful performance that showcased his artistry, range, depth and vulnerability. This is an unfathomable loss, and we grieve alongside his wife Stephanie, their children and loved ones. We will miss Adan dearly.”

In features, Canto is probably best known for playing Sunspot in X-Men: Days of Future Past and also had major roles in 2 Hearts, Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised and Agent Game, among others.

An emerging filmmaker, Canto directed his first short film in 2014 and his second, a provocative Western starring Theo Rossi in 2020.

“Adan had a depth of spirit that few truly knew. Those who glimpsed it were changed forever,” Canto’s reps at UTA, Entertainment360 and Viewpoint said. “He will be greatly missed by so many.”

Canto leaves behind his wife, best friend and creative partner Stephanie Ann Canto, and their two young children, Roman Alder, 3½ years of age, and Eve Josephine, 1½.


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